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GENIUS IDEA! Need Opinions..

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by garofalo23, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. garofalo23

    garofalo23 Registered Member

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    OK, so i need a bunch of opinions from everyone here. Here is my idea, let me know what you think.

    Create a website devoted to the food/entertainment/shopping around my college. I would have all the things to do in the area for college students on a very simple EASY to navigate site. Categories like food/drink, shopping, entertainment blah blah.

    I would contact all the local businesses and see if they are interested in being placed on the site for a small fee *thinking 20-30 bucks a month*. They would get placed on their categories page *i.e. Food* (btw, each category page is like a "flyer wall") if you click their flyer, you go to a separate page all about that company, location, specials, and if they have a menu or not.

    I would also build a list from people who go on the site and sign up for weekly specials. It would be me sending out special deals the companies are having.

    Marketing: Facebook, Facebook, and more Facebook. I have an extensive network of friends from my school already, and i think i can get a group out there and get a shit load of people on board. Also, my school has a vendor fair where all the local businesses go to hand out free shit the first friday during school. HUNDREDS of kids go to this. Here I would hand out free T shirts about the site ( i have a cool design brainstorming).

    I was also going to run weekly drawings for gift cards for local places that agree. All kids have to do is go to the place, put there name on a piece of paper and drop it in a bin. I would collect the bin and have the drawing pulled there. I would email that person about it and give them there gift card. I would do this every week and towards the holidays do one big gift card. Something to give the kids reasons to join.

    Good, Bad, Ugly???? Be honest, but reasonable.
     
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  2. iq465

    iq465 Regular Member

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    I did something like this my freshman year in arizona, and it worked well. Also, use temporary tattoos (rubber stamp with ink) and give free candy to kids that get a stamp on their arm.

    Your pitch to local business is the most important part here, if they just see you as a kooky college kid you wont get the discounts and listings for your site you need to keep it fresh every day.
     
  3. trevor1617

    trevor1617 BANNED BANNED

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    Solid idea..you may want to play with the prices you charge per month maybe have some featured listings they can pay extra for. Feel around for prices.
     
  4. carsonrathi

    carsonrathi Senior Member

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    Rather then charging local business, simply offer them to put your advertisement on there shop/hotel/office which is like "We are listed on YourWebsite.com" this way your web site will get creditability + more customer from that business may come to your site to check better offers.

    Geting more traffic for free, you can simply flip whole project and see better money.
     
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  5. tacopalypse

    tacopalypse Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    massive free targeted traffic is always good.
    my college campus had around 16,000 people crammed into 1 square mile lol.

    student loan offers also work well for this type of audience.

    milk it for all it's worth while you're still there.
     
  6. dulcolax

    dulcolax Newbie

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    good idea. kinda sounds like what metromix is doing. Don't know if they are big yet, but it's worth a shot.
     
  7. 2 4 k

    2 4 k Junior Member

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    Anything where you can foster community relationships and feed this relationships into local business has merit.

    1. You do need to play with the pricing, also different packages available, editorials on food outlets would be a big seller worth more money.
    2. Offer more services to the business after the sale is made to help them reach more of the community.
    3. Include some sort of reporting to validate the service and measure its results.

    Good luck
     
  8. djprog

    djprog Registered Member

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    Well maybe not "genius" but good ;)

    It's a well known technic (a.k.a. targeted portal building + get paying clients to advertise) but many people don't use it because you need social skills to approach offline businesses.

    You need to find a solution to this point :
    - At the beginning your website will be "empty" so it will be hard to get customers to buy ads on an empty site, lol ;-)

    I can't remember where I read the idea (probably here or in some ebooks available here) but you could offer free listing to non-profits organizations.
    You could also try to offer a free listing for 1 month or 2 to your prospects (in exchange, ask them to propose a "special offer" to your students during this free month, it will make your site valuable for the students).

    Actually a comment of this thread is also very interesting : student loans : even if you do everything for free (i.e. don't charge local businesses to get listed and place special offers), you could still make some good money just by monetizing the student loans part of your website.

    -> this way you could get a huge popularity amongst students and local businesses and if you become the place where students "looks for deals and bargains" there is a good chance they will look at your website for student loans as well.

    Don't forget to add a good tracking system, so you know how many clients you send to each local business (special coupon codes to print on a special "tracked" page of similar solutions).

    Cheers,
     
  9. djprog

    djprog Registered Member

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    I totally agree with CarsonRathi :

    Don't forget what big G suggest : think first user experience, then money in your pocket, :p

    However, I would only consider free listing for a local business offering a special deal (no effort = no free listing).

    You also can charge only the first of each category (featured "above the fold"). But then you need to charge them more than if you wanted to charge for every listing.
    -> Maybe think about a 1rst place in the category bidding system (by being first, the local liquor store makes more money than the local toilet paper store, so he can invest more in the first position listing, :D)
     
  10. blackhatnorth

    blackhatnorth Newbie

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    I´ve just discovered a great script for creating directories like that, I´m in the process of building a directory with it in the UK. It costs $75 for the script but comes with loads of free plugins like paypal and alertpay integration and numerous templates etc. There is a free version of it too but I don´t think that allows the plugins.
    I´m not sure if I´m allowed to post the link, would hate to get a ban so pm me if you are interested.
     
  11. Codythebest

    Codythebest Senior Member

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    It remind me a site I did back in 1995 when I was living in Fuerteventura. I put all the island businesses online back then...Not a lot of money because people were not into internet and though it was worthless...
     
  12. MarketerMac

    MarketerMac Regular Member

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    Don't worry about the 'empty' feeling. Businesses are easy to predict:
    1) They all like free advertising. Tell them you will do this and they will tell you yes. So start out free.
    2) Very, very rarely do 'students' get turned down. Honestly, play the card if you can. For your first few businesses, go into it by explaining how you are a student at X university, doing a project to promote local businesses, and would they be willing to help. Being a student unlocks so many doors and takes down so many walls that will be put up if you approach it as a 'businessman'.
    3) College kids by nature are social, and if you run with some of the idea's above (that stamp for the candy idea is awesome, btw) others will come to get the stamp after they ask about it. Doesn't have to be candy, imo any food item will get a college kid to let you stamp their arm. This could even be combined with some of the local business offers you are trying to get (stamp your arm get a free sandwich at local shop X, or a free cup of coffee at coffee shop X, whatever).
    4) Let the users themselves submit content and deals. Combine this with a point system like every game on facebook uses and you'll get tons of people telling you about tons of events. Shit, combine this with a point system and an aff program that allows incentivizing leads and you could have a winner (fill out CPA offer 'a' and get a free coffee). You could even pay the businesses for offering up the free stuff if you worked it like that.


    I'm going to stop now. I like this idea too much and I'm worried it'll put me off on a tangent if I keep talking about it. Good luck.
     
  13. QuietZorg

    QuietZorg Regular Member

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    I think it sounds solid,but I am only a journeyman if even.

    My campus has 22k+ students, so that could be epic.....:)

    You could include many extra things on the site like a games section, chat/shoutbox/messenger , online movies/tv show , classified ads on campus (books, tuition lessons etc) , dating etc....

    A whole community site with everything in it. Each aspect on it's own could be easily monetized in so many ways. The problem would be the workload , moderation , new content etc. But you could outsource it to students and then they can put on their CV that they worked with college social website or whatever. Like get a business student to work on getting local businesses ads set up.. Get an journalism student to write stuff,... spread out the workload, but keep much of the money made if not all.

    Also there is the problem of trying to suck everyone into the site, but mass email, facebook, ask the admin of the college's official site for a like exchange, if there is any popular forum on the college , link exchange.....

    Dolphin looks ideal for this whole idea.. worth a check. and it's free! Looks great, tonnes of features

    $$$$ ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  14. garofalo23

    garofalo23 Registered Member

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    Great ideas guys im LOVING IT! I like the idea of doing it all for free (for the businesses) as long as they have a **Featured on BLAHBLAH.com** sticker. Then I could monetize it other ways. It is still in the works, but i like what is going on here.

    CPA offers may be the way to monetize it. Advertising and getting people to go on the site is easy. Keeping them there AND interested, now thats the hard part. Kids spend like 99% of the time on facebook, so what would want to keep them on the site?

    As for the businesses, should I have them call/email me weekly there specials or should
    I call them?

    Should I send a letter to each of the businesses by mail? Or give them a call/stop in? There are literally atleast 50 businesses around that im thinking of, so going door to door is impractical.

    again, thanks for all the input.
     
  15. bdove23

    bdove23 Junior Member

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    good idea, it may take awhile to get started, but i think it will snowball and become a popular idea.
     
  16. Hunwarrior

    Hunwarrior Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    solid normal website idea. next time pls spare us with the attention seeking title. THX
     
  17. hufster

    hufster Newbie

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    If you're having a hard time convincing the advertisers try this out :

    Approach business and offer a paid featured spot on your site. If they accept, thats great. Otherwise tell them that they can have the spot for free for two weeks or something, but tell them to put an exclusive coupon on their Free Ad Space. The coupon will have their business and your website on it. Example :

    -------------------------------------------------------
    DeAngelo's Pizza
    Buy 2 Slices Get 1 Free


    *Check back to DomainName.com for more great deals.
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Print a bunch of these out and hand them out 2 or 3 times during that time frame. This works two-fold for you. You get the word out about your website and you greatly increase the number of people who use that exclusive coupon. The business sees the benefit of your advertising space and is very eager to sign up.
     
  18. Italian Hawk

    Italian Hawk Power Member

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    Another way to go about monetizing it would be like this. What are the visitors REALLY coming there for? Is it to read about and get great deals with food? Here's what I'd do then.

    Anything related to food, listed free. Yep. No profit here. Well, you'd make it so that they have to give exclusive specials to your site in order to be on it. After they see the additional business that came purely from your site they will be more than willing to do it again which is what the site will need to survive.

    Now, the money. If great deals on food isn't going to satisfy you for your time, think about this. Okay, they come to your site looking for food, but you can sell advertisement space to other local businesses. The traffic will be provided by the food industry, and the money will come from the other industries wanting to catch the eyes of the college students reading your site. Local furniture stores, movie theaters, computer repair businesses, taxi services, bars (unless this is included in food which it probably should be), liquor stores, and maybe even your campus bookstore, would definitely be interested in catching the eyes of thousands of college students. It's even better if it's a big city with thousands of students.
     
  19. angelas111

    angelas111 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    you could monetize the crap out of this with all the scholarship cpa offers out there. i like the idea. i hope you go through with it.
     
  20. garofalo23

    garofalo23 Registered Member

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    thanks again. loving the ideas coming in. I'm was/still am very hesitant about the idea. I basically need to go through with it if im going to within the next few days since I have to submit the vendor fair information.

    So, majority says I should go for it? I come up with money making ideas all the time, and never really go through with it. Except now me and my cousin are power washing houses going door to door. Were making about 120 bucks each in about 5 hours worth of total work 4-5 days a week and im loving it. Just when I go back to school I dont have that option.

    Oh the decisions..